Redesigning High Schools to Support Their Communities in the 21st Century

The Cross State High School Redesign Collaborative (CSHSC) was established in 2017 and is a joint effort of seven participating states, Illinois, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Mexico, New York, and Ohio supported by the Everyone Graduates Center at Johns Hopkins University School of Education, the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), and Civic Enterprises.

The CSHSC’s goal is to use the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) to enable struggling high schools in high-needs communities to reinvent themselves and become institutions that propel adolescents to adult success in their communities in the 21st century.

The participating states and partners are co-developing a seven-stage high school redesign process with supportive tools and practices. Plans begin with conducting needs assessment and community input to evidence-based redesign, participating in a network of similar high schools going through redesign, being supported by proven technical assistance providers and capacity builders, and committing to use a common set of on-track school success metrics.

Evidence-Based Improvement Strategies

How adults are organized in a school is a foundational driver of its outcomes.

If the daily interactions of teachers, administrators, partners, parents AND students leave them more satisfied, more productive, more supported, more connected and more engaged, evidence shows that the school will achieve greater success.


Students at the Center examines the evidence-based research that highlights core principles to consider when redesigning high school experiences to increase:

  • Student motivation
  • Engagement
  • Active participation in their learning


Studies and evidence-based resources organized into seven key domains:

  1. Creating Challenging & Caring Classrooms
  2. Using the Learning Sciences
  3. PLCs and Instructional Coaching
  4. Aligned Standards, Instruction, & Assessments
  5. Using Formative Assessments to Tailor Instruction and Supports
  6. Integrating Social, Emotional, and Academic Development
  7. Developing Cultural Competencies


Evidence and research-based resources which identify core principles to consider when redesigning the high school experience to enable all students to graduate with a strong and supported pathway to postsecondary success. As you design pathways they should reflect high school as a beginning and not an ending.


CSHSC Partners
Redesign Resources

Featured Resource

Gallup Study: Positive Relations Between Student Engagement & Hope and Student Behavior this study has proven engagement and hope  measurements to be significantly negatively related to student discipline and behavior outcomes at a school level. Consequently, this study has provided a path for districts and schools to proactively build a positive culture and environment at the school and classroom level that supports students emotionally and socially — while positively impacting student behavior outcomes. Read more. . .

Download the Study

Download a variety of high school redesign resources and find out how other states are redesigning schools to meet the challenges of the 21st Century. Read more.

The U.S. Department of Education sponsored the National Survey on High School Strategies Designed to Help At-Risk Students Graduate and collected data in the 2014-2015 school year from a nationally representative sample of 2,142 public high schools.

The resulting data provided approximately 13 specific, evidence-based high school improvement strategies designed to improve the likelihood of high school graduation for at-risk students. Read More.


Since 2017, CSHSC conducts annual National Evidence-Based High School Redesign Forums to increase state-level understanding of evidence-based design and map out a plan or action for the collaborative’s efforts.

A number of multi-media resources are presented at the forums and are now available for download. Read More.

Click here for 2018 Convening resources and documents. 

Learn more about the CSHSC.

Learn more about the Cross State High School Collaborative and download resources, studies, presentations and other useful materials for this exciting initiative. Read more.